Many professional musicians today try to be experts in everything. Not just their “art” whether that is composing or performing or a combination of both but also in marketing, promotion, website design, videos, photography, concert administration, accountancy.
Everywhere we look we are bombarded by “10 things you must do” which will ensure instant success, and it is always a quick fix. But is it?
We were visiting our local picture framer in Norfolk recently and really I do him a disservice to call him a picture framer. We first came across him when we bought a work by a wonderful artist, Rachel Lockwood, who lives on the Norfolk coast and has all her framing done by this particular framer.
He is an artist in his own right, seeing the frame as part of the whole composition, and is there to advise on whether to use a mount, the type of frame, colour, depth and grain and, if you are using glass, which type shows the painting off to its best advantage. All this is done showing you examples as you stand in his workshop.
Chatting away as new frames were unveiled we were discovering the variability of internet connections in our area (we live about one mile away from the framer. Fortunately for us we have super-fast broadband, ironically, better than it was when we lived in Muswell Hill in London. One mile down the road and John has very little connection at all and cannot use the computer in his studio. However, he said it was not a problem because in the studio he did not need it: he was framing pictures.
How wonderful it was to hear that. How long is it since we have been able to say we do not need to look at our smart phone or ipad because we are practising this week or spending a month composing, or rehearsing over the next 5 days.
It is a while now since I have been a professional performer but as well as having an agent and a publicist I also had the wonderful Jane Gray who would organise the concerts for me. I remember telephoning her in desperation one day because one of my Southbank Concerts had attracted the interest of television and radio and we were also getting some press coverage and I was tearing my hair out because it was a contemporary programme and I needed the time to practice rather than deal with all these media intrusions.
All of the additional coverage was happening just before the concert (as it should) but I just could not cope. Jane in her very measured and expert way lead me through the maze and allowed me to focus on what was the most important thing – the music.
Too often today we think we can do everything ourselves but at what expense to our art as well as our well-being. What is quality of time worth to you? At Impulse and tutti.co.uk we help musicians by providing the type of service that is rarely available: taking a personal interest in the work that people are doing, advising on the best way to do it and then doing the work for them and leaving them to have the time to be the “creator” that they are.